Man Utd boss Mourinho accused of tax fraud in Spain


(FILES) This file photo taken on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm ...
(FILES) This file photo taken on May 24, 2017 at the Friends Arena in Solna outside Stockholm shows Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho prior the UEFA Europa League final football match Ajax Amsterdam v Manchester United. Mourinho is accused of tax evasion in Spain, AFP reports on June 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLIS

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was on Tuesday accused by Spanish authorities of failing to pay 3.3 million euros ($3.7m, £2.9m) in taxes during his time in charge of Real Madrid.

The 54-year-old Mourinho, who coached Madrid from 2010 to 2013, was accused of “two offences against the public treasury,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

They claim that Mourinho – who took over at United last year – failed to declare income of 1.6 million euros in 2011 and 1.7 million euros in 2012.

The accusations come as Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was summoned to appear before a judge next month, himself accused of evading 14.7 million euros through offshore companies.

The 32-year-old Portuguese star is facing four charges of fraud through offshore companies between 2011 and 2014 and will appear before a judge on July 31, judicial sources told AFP.

Prosecutors accuse the Portugal international of evading tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for its low corporate tax rate.

In addition, they say he only declared 11.5 million euros of Spanish-related income from 2011 to 2014, while what he really earned during that time was close to 43 million euros.

And finally, they accuse him of “voluntarily” refusing to include 28.4 million euros in income linked to the sale of his image rights for the 2015 to 2020 period to a Spanish company.

The four-time world player of the year, who said last week his “conscience is clear”, is threatening to leave Madrid over the affair according to Spanish and Portuguese media.

Ronaldo is currently on duty for Portugal at the Confederations Cup in Russia, which ends on July 2.

– Mendes in eye of storm –

Both Ronaldo and Mourinho are clients of football super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has been summoned to appear before the court at Pozuelo de Alarcon, just outside Madrid, on June 27.

Revelations from the whistleblowing website Football Leaks have lifted the veil on the practices supposedly used by Mendes to optimise often enormous earnings from image rights by his clients.

Media consortium European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) has claimed that no less than 185 million euros worth of income has escaped the attentions of tax authorities using shell companies and offshore accounts.

Other clients of Mendes who have ended up in Spain include the Portuguese full-back Fabio Coentrao – on the verge of joining Sporting Lisbon on loan from Real Madrid – and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, now with Monaco but formerly at Atletico Madrid.

Falcao himself is suspected of failing to correctly declare 5.6 million euros of income earned from image rights between 2012 and 2013 while he was at Atletico.

Coentrao is suspected of failing to correctly declare 1.3 million euros of income.

In three years with Real Madrid, Mourinho won La Liga in 2012 and the Spanish Cup in 2011.

After leaving Madrid, he returned to England for a second spell with Chelsea before joining United, with whom he won the Europa League and the League Cup in the season just finished.

The football world in Spain has been rocked by charges of tax evasion or corruption pressed against some of its other leading stars.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was sentenced to a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09 million euro fine last year for tax fraud.

The prison term will be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.

The 29-year-old and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were found guilty of using companies in Belize, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi’s income earned from his image rights from 2007 to 2009.

Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud last year.

Meanwhile Brazil star and Barcelona forward Neymar and his parents are due to stand trial for alleged corruption over his transfer from Santos in 2013.

 

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